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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Multiple Cases of Illegal Molecular Research Reported to NIH

Judicial Watch Uncovers Multiple Cases of Illegal Molecular Research Reported to NIH
Judicial Watch Appeals Dismissal of Suit by Coach Fired for Objecting to BLM/Critical Race Theory Curriculum for Daughter’s 7th Grade History Class
TSA Hiring Diversity/Inclusion Chief Though Most Employees are Minorities

 


Judicial Watch Uncovers Multiple Cases of Illegal Molecular Research Reported to NIH

We received 2,369 pages of records from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealing more than two dozen cases where research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid (r/sNA) molecules was conducted in America without proper approval and in violation of NIH guidelines.

Americans deserve to know just how much illegal research is being conducted in their country without any government oversight whatsoever. These records appear to show that viruses that are potentially worse than COVID-19 are being illegally created in labs in our own country.

Recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid (r/sNA) molecules are constructed outside of living cells. The molecules are made by joining DNA or RNA segments (natural or synthetic) to DNA or RNA molecules that can replicate within a living cell. They may also result from replication of previously constructed recombinant molecules.

NIH guidelines detail safety practices and containment procedures for basic and clinical research involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules – including the creation and use of organisms and viruses containing recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules. These guidelines require that any significant problems, violations, or any significant research-related accidents and illnesses be reported to NIH within 30 days.

The documents we received show that the research, which occurred at Biosafety Level 1/2/3 laboratories, led to dozens of dangerous mishaps, accidents, and spills

We obtained the records in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to NIH asking for:

Any and all records maintained by the National Institutes of Health including memoranda, draft memoranda, reports, email communications, email chains, data compilation, and other communications regarding or documenting accidents, incidents, illnesses and hazards identified concerning (i) recombinant nucleic acid molecules, (ii) synthetic nucleic acid molecules, including those that are chemically or otherwise modified but can base pair with naturally occurring nucleic acid molecules, and (iii) cells, organisms, and viruses containing such molecules research which was conducted at Biosafety Level (BSL) 2, BSL 3 or BSL 4 laboratories, including government owned facilities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms, private laboratories, university laboratories, international laboratories and State public health laboratories.

Nearly 100 r/sNA incidents were reported to the NIH through their email system. Following are incidents that were reported with the subject line, “NIH Guidelines.”

In an email on February 12, 2020, Biosafety Officer for the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Dr. Matt Anderson reports an incident that began in March 2018 wherein Dr. Shi-Hua Xiang created an HIV pseudo virus containing Marburgglycoprotein M78 in a university Biosafety Level 2 laboratory, for which he did not have authorization.

The incident was discovered during a pathogen inventory, and Xiang was told to cease any further work. During the investigation, it was determined that Xiang was assisted by student researchers and that the experiment had continued until enough virions were created to complete the experiments that were testing novel peptide inhibitors of viral entry. The report states that Xiang, who received a master’s degree in Wuhan, China, completed NIH Guidelines training in 2012, 2018 and 2019 on responsibilities of obtaining approval prior to engaging in these types of experiments. This research was funded by NIH under contract 1R2 1AI126299-01A1.

In an email on April 19, 2020, Chairman of the Institutional Biosafety Committee of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, Dr. Michael Glickman reports an incident at his facility where an investigator was conducting unauthorized research constructing recombinant Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) expressing spike proteins from SARS-COV-2 in violation of NIH Guidelines.

Upon discovery, the investigator was ordered to immediately halt the unapproved research. It was determined during the investigation that recombinant viruses had been generated and must be destroyed immediately. The report did not mention the Biosafety Level of the laboratory involved.

In an email on April 22, 2020, the Biosafety Officer for the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Garry Coulson reports an incident directly to Kathryn Harris of the NIH Office of Science Policy.

Coulson states that a researcher who was working in a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory was bitten by a mouse infected with SARS COV-2 2AA. The incident occurred on April 21, 2020, and the researcher was placed on a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine and monitored for COVID symptoms. The research was funded by NIH under grants U19AI100625 / U19AI142759 and contract HHSN27220170036.

In an email on May 19, 2020, the Associate Director of the Office of Research, Office of Responsible Research Practices at The Ohio State University Helen O’Meara reports an incident where Dr. Shan-Lu Liu had conducted unauthorized research in a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory developing a pseudo typed lentivirus containing the gene encoding for the SARS-COV-2 S protein. This research was in violation of NIH Guidelines.

In an email on October 16, 2020, the IBC Chair of the New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY, Dr. Paul Arnaboldi reports an incident discovered during an April 2019 Biosafety compliance investigation wherein Petra Rocic had submitted false reports to the Institutional Biosafety Committee indicating experiments that were actually conducted did not occur.

Rocic was approved to inject mice with Adenoviral vectors containing EGFP, Adenoviral vectors containing micro-RNA-145, and lentiviral vectors containing GPR-shRNA. After injection, the mice were to remain in a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory for a minimum of 48 hours due to the potential for shedding the virus. During the investigation, it was determined that the mice were immediately returned to only a Biosafety Level 1 laboratory. The investigation revealed these experiments took place in April 2014 and September 2017 and were funded under NIH Grant R01HL093052. It should be noted that the security and safety precautions of a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory are much more stringent than a Biosafety Level 1 laboratory.

In an email on October 23, 2020, Biological Safety Officer for the University of Central Florida, Dr. Don Sibley reported an incident that occurred from September 17, 2018, to September 23, 2020 in a Biosafety Level 2 incubatory facility at the university. Dr. Hao Yu, President & CEO of OncoTroy, was operating a private laboratory inside the University of Central Florida Biosafety Level 2 incubator facility and was conducting recombinant DNA experiments that he had not obtained Institutional Biosafety Committee approval for, a violation of NIH Guidelines.

On June 8, 2020, Dr. Garry Coulson, Biosafety Officer, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, sent an email to “NIH Guidelines” and other NIH officials, titled “NIH Incident Report” reporting a researcher who spilled recombinant SARS COV-2 NanoLuc virus while working with the virus inside a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory. The researcher was placed on mandatory 14 days quarantine and monitored for COVID symptoms. The research was funded by NIH under grants U19AI100625 / U19AI142759 and contract HHSN27220170036I.

On October 29, 2021, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence released a declassified report on the origins of COVID-19. The report acknowledges that, “the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely was the result of a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Through FOIA requests and lawsuits, we have uncovered a substantial amount of information surrounding COVID-19, to include the communications of Anthony Fauci and other U.S. officials, as well as biosafety issues here in the United States. The findings include:

  • May 2022: Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) records showed that former director James W. Le Duc warned Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology of potential investigations into the COVID issue by Congress.
  • May 2022: HHS records regarding biodistribution studies and related data for the COVID-19 vaccines show a key component of the vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), were found outside the injection site, mainly the liver, adrenal glands, spleen and ovaries of test animals, eight to 48 hours after injection.
  • April 2022: Records from the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) reveal safety lapses and violations at U.S. biosafety laboratories that conduct research on dangerous agents and toxins.
  • March 2022: HHS records include emails between National Institutes of Health (NIH) then-Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), about hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19.
  • March 2022: HHS records show the State Department and NIAID knew immediately in January 2020 that China was withholding COVID data, which was hindering risk assessment and response by public health officials.
  • December 2021: HHS records include a grant application for research involving the coronavirus that appears to describe “gain of function” research involving RNA extractions from bats, experiments on viruses, attempts to develop a chimeric virus and efforts to genetically manipulate the full-length bat SARSr-CoV WIV1 strain molecular clone.
  • August 2021: HHS records include an “urgent for Dr. Fauci ” email chain, citing ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also report that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.”
  • July 2021: NIAID records reveal that it gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself. The records also include an email from the vice director of the Wuhan Lab asking an NIH official for help finding disinfectants for decontamination of airtight suits and indoor surfaces.
  • June 2021: HHS records reveal that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.
  • March 2021: HHS records show that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020.
  • October 2020: Fauci emails include his approval of a press release supportive of China’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

 

Judicial Watch Appeals Dismissal of Suit by Coach Fired for Objecting to BLM/Critical Race Theory Curriculum for Daughter’s 7th Grade History Class

Judicial Watch is committed to pushing in court for the rights of parents and teachers to object to Black Lives Matter and other radical content in schools. And we’re prepared to keep on pushing even when a court goes the wrong way on these important matters.

We appealed a federal court decision dismissing a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of David Flynn, a Massachusetts father who was fired from his position as high school football coach after he raised concerns over Black Lives Matter/critical race theory being taught in his daughter’s seventh-grade ancient history class (Flynn v. Forrest et al. (No. 21-cv-10256)).

Our lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, sought damages against the superintendent, high school principal, and high school athletic director for retaliating against Flynn for exercising his First Amendment rights.

Judge Indira Talwani, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, wrote multiple times in her opinion that Flynn exercised his First Amendment right to freedom of speech when he raised his concerns to the city’s school committee:

[A] reasonable jury could find that Flynn’s criticisms were directed at what he perceived to be the school district’s repeated failures to adequately inform parents of the changes to the school district’s curriculum and values and to address his daughter’s concerns.

***

A reasonable jury could find that Flynn’s email was sent in his capacity as a parent to the person who convened the meeting and, in Flynn’s view, did so with no intention of working through the issues Flynn had raised regarding the curriculum and the teacher’s use of the BLM emoji.

***

A reasonable jury could therefore find that the Flynn’s speech was not related to his position as head football coach and that he spoke predominantly as a concerned parent.

***

The court accordingly concludes that a reasonable jury could find that Flynn’s speech was protected speech.

***

[M]ere disputes over policy, without more, cannot outweigh Flynn’s free speech interest; the right to express such disagreement is at the core value protected by Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

Despite these findings, the court concluded that Flynn could be fired because of his criticism of the school superintendent (even though the letter firing him made no reference to the criticism).

The lawsuit details that in September 2020, Flynn’s daughter’s seventh-grade history class, which was listed as “World Geography and Ancient History I,” was taught issues of race, gender, stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, and politics. The lawsuit explains:

In one assignment, Plaintiff’s daughter was asked to consider various “risk factors” and “mitigating factors” that two people – one identified as “white” and the other identified as “black” – purportedly might use to assess each other on a city street.  Included among the various factors were skin color, gender, age, physical appearance, and attire.  “Black,” “aggressive body language” and “wrong neighborhood” were among the “risk factors” purportedly assessed by the person identified as “white.”  “White” and “Police officer” were among the “risk factors” purportedly assessed by the person identified as “black.”

Concerned about the abrupt change in curriculum, Flynn and his wife contacted the history teacher and principal of the school – then later Superintendent Michael J. Welch and three members of the Dedham School Committee. On more than one occasion the Flynns asked for assistance in resolving the issues with the curriculum. Ultimately, in October 2020, the Flynns removed their children from school. The Flynns’ list of concerns included:

  • Dedham Public Schools changed the curriculum of the seventh-grade history class without notifying parents or having a course description and syllabus available for parents to review
  • The new seventh-grade history class curriculum containing coursework on politics, race, gender equality, and diversity that were not suitable for twelve- and thirteen-year-olds;
  • The seventh-grade history teacher not teaching topics of politics, race, gender equality, and diversity objectively;
  • The seventh-grade history teacher using a cartoon character of herself wearing a t-shirt supporting a controversial political movement; and
  • The seventh-grade history teacher using class materials that labeled all police officers as risks to all black people and all black males as risks to white people.

In January 2021, Flynn, who had been the head football coach at Dedham High School (DHS) since 2011, was called into a meeting with Welch as well as the DHS principal and athletic director. At the meeting, Welch handed Flynn one of the emails he had written to the Dedham School Committee members and informed him that one of the committee members asked Welch, “What are we going to do about this?” At the end of the meeting Flynn was told that they, “were going in a different direction” with the football program. Minutes later, the superintendent, high school principal, and athletic director released a public statement, stating that Flynn was removed as head football coach because he “expressed significant philosophical differences with the direction, goals, and values of the school district.”

Flynn’s written objections to the BLM/critical race theory included:

The Superintendent has had the opportunity to make sure the Dedham teachers conduct themselves as professionals and to teach the courses objectively and without biased opinions. He chose not to. I believe that the real men and women in the world are the ones who have the ability to compromise, especially in extremely controversial situations. Compromise allows people to experience life as a team. This is where unity brings individual pride together and relationships begin to strengthen. I believe all relationships are based on compromise.  The Superintendent was not willing to compromise.  I explained to him that if the teacher teaches the course objectively and removes the BLM logo from the class, people will soon get over the fact that the class was purposely created without notifying parents and without having a visible course curriculum, syllabus and learning objective. Apparently, it does not mean much to him that the Dedham Public School System is losing two wonderful students.

We noted in a court filing that the superintendent of the school system later agreed with Flynn’s position and Dedham Public Schools changed their policies a few months after Flynn’s email:

With respect to the first two issues, Superintendent Welch agrees that they are matters of public concern. He believes the Flynns’ concerns about the failure to notify parents about the curriculum change were valid, and Dedham Public Schools changed their policies in the months after the October 22, 2020 email…. (“We’ve made changes in policy at the school committee level. We’ve established a curriculum advisory that incorporates parent and community members to broadly review any changes around curriculum or concerns that may arise. And I made it clear to [the Assistant Superintendent] that if were there changes that were occurring in curriculum, we should be notifying parents in advance so they’re aware.”).

We also informed the court that the Superintendent and several school committee members, like the Flynns had concerns about the teacher’s use of a Black Lives Matter Memoji.

Coach Flynn deserved better from the court, which confusingly found that he properly exercised his First Amendment rights on matters of public concern while finding he could not criticize the top political appointee in the school system.

 

TSA Hiring Diversity/Inclusion Chief Though Most Employees are Minorities

We’ve been reporting on failures at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for years: diverting resources to investigate non-masked passengers, punishing whistleblowers for reporting misconduct among managers, losing badges used to access secure areas.

Now this befuddled agency is going woke, further directing its attention away from your security. Our Corruption Chronicles blog reports.

Although the majority of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees come from “underrepresented racial and ethnic groups,” the agency is hiring a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the recommendation of a special Inclusion Action Committee (IAC) created after George Floyd’s death. The head of the Homeland Security agency created after 9/11 to protect the nation’s transportation system says the new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer will report directly to him and will help drive cultural change, establish a new leadership principle focused on supporting and sustaining an inclusive culture and ensure that performance plans for TSA executives focus on inclusive leadership. Despite a 55% racial and ethnic minority staff, the agency with 60,000 employees will work to ensure it is inclusive and that diversity is reflected at all levels, according to an extensive report published by the inhouse IAC.

The effort is part of a robust movement by the Biden administration to incorporate racial equity across all federal agencies. The plan was launched back in January 2021 when the president issued an executive order to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government. The president’s document claims that “entrenched disparities” in laws, public policies, and private institutions have denied equal opportunity to individuals and communities and that the health and climate crises have exposed inequities while a “historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism.” Therefore, the order states, the federal government should pursue a “comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” It further says that “by advancing equity across the Federal Government, we can create opportunities for the improvement of communities that have been historically underserved, which benefits everyone.”

In the last year many key federal agencies have implemented racial equity plans as per Biden’s order. The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an Equity Action Plan to advance equity for marginalized and underserved communities. The Department of Labor dedicated $260 million to promote “equitable access” to government unemployment benefits by addressing disparities in the administration and delivery of money by race ethnicity and language proficiency. The Treasury Department named its first ever racial equity chief, a veteran La Raza official who spent a decade at the nation’s most influential open borders group. The Department of Defense (DOD) is using outrageous anti-bias materials that indoctrinate troops with anti-American and racially inflammatory training on diversity topics. The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) created an equity commission to address longstanding inequities in agriculture. The nation’s medical research agency has a special minority health and health disparities division that recently issued a study declaring COVID-19 exacerbated preexisting resentment against racial/ethnic minorities and marginalized communities.

The TSA’s case is different because the agency already has plenty of racial and ethnic diversity, making a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer seem like overkill. Nevertheless, the agency created the IAC, a “coalition of diverse TSA leaders” tasked with devising a strategy to enhance current programs, introducing innovative solutions toward achieving a positive culture and ensuring that the agency is a fair and equitable organization built on trusted relationships. In its report the IAC writes that that “the current climate around racial inequality requires us to think differently about inclusion in the workforce.”

Besides hiring a new diversity and inclusion chief, the IAC made a number of recommendations to meet the TSA’s new diversity and inclusion goal. Among them are establishing an annual “Year of Inclusion” campaign with themes ranging from “Belongingness” to “Equity” and “Empowerment.” The panel also recommends starting a new podcast series to “broadcast powerful, positive reflections involving TSA’s diverse workforce.” A Diversity Index should be created to measure how the TSA is building and balancing diversity at the middle and upper management levels, the IAC writes. It will help measure the level of diversity in a group, with a higher number indicating a more diverse workforce. “It considers different racial and ethnic groups and includes gender ratios across and organization,” the TSA diversity and inclusion panel writes in its report.

Until next week …


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